Although it didn't show during his 201-yard explosion against Hamilton last week, Baltimore Stallions running back Mike Pringle has been bothered by a tender hamstring.
Pringle practiced yesterday for the first time since he carried 31 times and rushed for four touchdowns in Baltimore's 41-14 victory on Saturday, a performance that earned him the Canadian Football League's Co-Offensive Player of the Week award.
He moved gingerly while running the ball and returning kickoffs yesterday, although he pronounced himself fit to start in tomorrow's rematch against the visiting Birmingham Barracudas.
The Barracudas (6-4) are in second place, 1 1/2 games behind the Stallions. Six weeks ago, Baltimore blew out Birmingham, 36-8.
"I try to zone out any type of pain I have," Pringle said. "I really don't realize I'm injured until after the game.
"It [the hamstring] felt pretty good today. It's been tight for the last two or three weeks. I'm going to go on Saturday, but I'm going to be smart about it. If I get any type of injury, I'll sit out."
In that event, Robert Drummond will see more action in the backfield.
Honors for Withycombe
Pringle wasn't alone in the awards category.
Mike Withycombe, who has been the Stallions' most valuable blocker this year, was named CFL Offensive Lineman of the Week, after filling in for left tackle Shar Pourdanesh against Hamilton and opening up some huge holes for Pringle.
Withycombe, a 30-year-old CFL rookie who has played for five NFL teams, has been a major addition to the Stallions. After starting the season at left guard, he filled in for Nick Subis in five games while Subis nursed broken ribs. Tomorrow, Withycombe will make his second start in place of Pourdanesh, who has stress fractures in both ankles and doesn't figure to return until next week's Shreveport game, at the earliest.
"Mike might be the best offensive lineman in the league," Baltimore coach Don Matthews said.
Anthony was rushing
Charles Anthony called it the strangest game day he has had.
He was awakened at 7 a.m. Saturday in Hamilton, Ontario, by a call from his wife, Kim, who was going into labor.
Anthony, a halfback who had started every game in the defensive backfield during the Stallions' two-year history, rushed out to hail a taxi and reached the Toronto airport in an hour. He then flew to BWI and took another taxi to Franklin Square Hospital, arriving there at 12:01 p.m.
Twenty-five minutes later, his wife gave birth to Madison Rae, a 7-pound, 10-ounce girl.
That night, Anthony watched the Stallions rout Hamilton on television.
"It's always weird watching the guys you go to war with every week playing without you," Anthony said. "But the hardest thing was watching them playing well without you. When they win like that without you, it's tougher then."